His second book, The End of Patience: Cautionary Notes on the Information Revolution, continues and expands Shenk's analysis, collecting articles and commentary he wrote for National Public Radio, The New Republic, FEED, Wired, and other high-minded venues over the last three years. Shenk's targets here vary widely: the corporatization of scientific research, the dizzying ethical choices surrounding biotechnology, and the scourge of Web sites with too many bells and whistles all get due consideration. But his central message remains the same throughout. Our technologies, he warns, are shaping us into a nation of info-hungry, data-dizzy "button smackers," risking the quality of our life and culture for the doubtful thrill of instant knowledge.
Shenk's warning is a gentle one, however, tempered by an affectionate familiarity with the media he critiques. And though this book could have used a little more winnowing (in particular, the transcribed conversations with assorted media-critic pals of Shenk's come off as little more than chummy, self-indulgent filler), in general his writing has a sure, light touch that glides past the bombast of classic technopunditry. Happily, Shenk follows his own prescriptions, cutting through the information haze rather than adding to it. --Julian Dibbell
While Shenk's "cautionary notes" err on the side of the measured critiques of a turn-of-the-century technological participant-observer, this book's potential value as a bellwether... Read morePublished on January 7, 2009 by Ben Sullivan
I enjoyed The End of Patience very much. I had to laugh at how many of David Shenk's insights I could relate to, although I had never slowed down enough to consider them. Read morePublished on December 27, 1999 by Richard E. Gaum
In his second book "The End of Patience" we have David Shenk's self aggrandizing insights into the complex dark canyons of the technological revolution we have been drawn... Read morePublished on November 30, 1999